4 Stoneman Douglas staffers reassigned after school shooting report

'They're scapegoating them,' parent says

By Terrell Forney - Reporter, Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

PARKLAND, Fla. - Four administrators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were fatally shot, are being reassigned after a report from the state commission investigating the shooting.

Broward County Public Schools released a statement Monday that said three assistant principals -- Jeff Morford, Denise Reed and Winifred Porter Jr.  -- and security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf were being reassigned to other administrative locations. It didn't say why they were being reassigned.

Greenleaf was outside the 1200 building when the shooting started. He was blamed for failing to issue an immediate "code red."

The decision was made after the latest meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. The school system said it's using material from the commission to improve school safety and student services.

Nikolas Cruz, 21, has pleaded not guilty in the Feb. 14 shooting rampage. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Some students, teachers and staff criticized how the reassignments were handled. Several teachers are planning to protest the move outside the school Tuesday morning before the start of classes.

"We asked for facts. We weren't provided any," Gregg Pittman, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told Local 10 News. "We asked when we could get it. They didn't know."

Pittman said teachers were informed about the decision in a text message sent about five minutes before school ended Monday.

"Do they know where mistakes were made? They know probably better than anybody if mistakes were made and where they were made," Pittman said. "They are probably better than anybody else to correct the mistakes because they were there."

Local 10 News also received a letter written by "concerned MSD staff."

"While we respect that an investigation is necessary, we strongly object to the manner with which this has been handled," the letter reads. "Removing an integral part of our administrative staff disrupts not only daily operations but the well-being of students and staff. This action does more to hurt the healing and continued education of our students."

The letter goes on to urge Broward County Public School Superintendent Robert Runcie to reconsider the decision.

Joselyn Sierra is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and said the shakeup has left students rattled.

"Most of the senior class love these four people dearly," Sierra said. "Me and my friend immediately just immediately broke down because it's not fair for us to have to have to, one, go through a shooting, and then on top of that they take the four most important people away from us. It's just not fair."

Nigel Kowlessar has a child enrolled at the school and believes that officials are just shifting blame.

"They're scapegoating them for something they probably didn't have any control over," Kowlessar said.

Andrew Pollack, whose 17-year-old daughter Meadow died in the shooting, said earlier this month that he was angered by the fact that the same school leaders who failed his family and 16 others were still working at the site.

"Continuity is important," Pittman said.

 

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